John reveals that in his community "...it is forbidden to go East",or to go to the Dead places unless looking for metal as a priest, but most importantly it was forbidden to even "...look upon the place that was the Place of the Gods." Since the beginning of their time, these rules had been set in stone.
Call To Adventure
John's father is a priest and he "watches over [him]-he was glad that [John] should be a priest." His dad shares his knowledge with him, in order for John to become a priest he must learn all he can. His father tells him "a priest must know many secrets" in order to succeed.
Testing Skill And Power
On an adventure to a dead house, John and his father finally put to test whether he is worthy of becoming a priest. His dad enters and "...came out with the metal- a good strong piece." scared and determined, "He gave [John} the metal to hold and [he] did not die." Then they knew he was ready.
Crossing The Threshold
They "...knew that [he] was truly his son and would be a priest in [his] time.", John was still a child at this time, "..[his] brothers would not have done it.", so he was rewarded for his accomplishment.
John had to fulfill his destiny which was to visit the place of his dreams. He had to begin by describing it to his father, he looked into the smokey fire and says "I saw and told what I saw. It was...river , and, beyond it, a great Dead Place and in it the gods..." His father sympathizes but lets him now there are plenty of risks, that the dream could "eat him up" even, but he was supportive all the same.
Soon after, John is sent off on his quest as his father blesses him and hands him a bow and three arrows for protection, he tells him "Once I had young dreams. If your dreams do not eat you up, you may be a great priest". Lovingly, his father reminds him that "even if they [ate him] up, [he was still his] son." and then John was sent on his way.